India ready to help its friends in crisis: Modi

| | New Delhi
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India ready to help its friends in crisis: Modi

Saturday, 11 April 2020 | PNS | New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday stressed the need for jointly fighting coronavirus pandemic. This assertion came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked India for rushing a five-ton cargo of medicines, including anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Modi said in response “we have to jointly fight this pandemic."

The medicines reached Israel, where over 10,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported including 79 deaths, on Tuesday. In a tweet on Thursday, Netanyahu wrote: "Thank you, my dear friend @narendramodi, Prime Minister of India, for sending Chloroquine to Israel. All the citizens of Israel thank you!"

In his response, Modi wrote: "We have to jointly fight this pandemic. India is ready to do whatever is possible to help our friends. Praying for the well-being and good health of the people of Israel. @netanyahu."

The Israeli Prime Minister had requested the supply of hydroxychloroquine during a phone call to Modi on April 3.  Moreover, last month, he had urged Modi to approve and allow the export of masks and pharmaceuticals to Israel. 

India, one of the world's largest manufacturers of hydroxychloroquine, earlier this week had said it will allow limited exports of the anti-malaria drug to "nations that have been badly affected" by the pandemic. The development came after US President Donald Trump cautioned India of “retaliation” if it did not lift the curbs on the export of the drug. The ban was imposed on March 25. More than 30 countries are now looking up to India for this drug which Trump claims will be the “game changer” in battling coronavirus.

Following India’s decision to lift restriction on import, Trump on Wednesday thanked Modi and said India's help during this crisis will not be forgotten. "Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends. Thank you India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. Will not be forgotten! Thank you Prime Minister @NarendraModi for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight!" Trump tweeted.

In his address to the nation on Wednesday, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who attended this year's Republic Day in Delhi as the chief guest, also thanked Modi for "timely help". Modi said in response and said in a tweet "the India-Brazil partnership is stronger than ever in these challenging times. India is committed to contribute to humanity's fight against this pandemic."

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